Mar 1, 2016

Speed Master: DN Ice Yachting North Americans 2016: Matt Struble Champ

Top 4 photos by Debbie Whitehorse. Full album here . 4th pic by Ken Barter, DN US183 by Matt. - From all the talented sailors I've been following past years, the most underrated or hidden talent is definitely Matt Struble.  Multiple North American A-Class Champ, with his own built design or with an Exploder provided on the spot in 2015.  I've been trying for him to attend A-Cat Worlds for a while now. He also sails Moths and is looking to participate in 2016 Worlds.

This winter Matt travelled from South California to Michigan and went back to his roots to grab yet another North American crown, this time sailing +40knots over hard ice. Six bullets, three 2nds a 3rd as discard... over 10 races at the 2016 DN North Ams held past week.

Ice Yachting is Hardcore Sailing at its best, and the DNs seem to provide a rather low budget alternative to experience high speeds compared to other more refined or complex Ice Yacth Classes like the ISA Skeeter, but  the DN also provides quite a thrill, Matt compares it with a Moth on its size, but is much faster... Can you imagine reaching +60knots over ice sailing such small boat?

Well, just ask Struble who is always willing to share his experiences like his A-Cat 2015 & 2013 NAs wins reports. Below his report on racing & sailing DNs. Watch video also and see how mast bends to depower:
February 22-26, 2016

Madison Wisconsin, 80 boats total .-‘2 fleets with 50 in Gold and 30 in Silver.
Growing up in Michigan, it was natural to keep sailing in the cold winter months, the option was iceboating.

Iceboating is not easy or relaxing, but the experience and thrill is second to none. After your first ride, you are hooked and will do almost anything to get the fix again. I started iceboat racing in the early 1980‘s and in 2007 I won my first World Championship.
I won twice more in 2008 and 2009 before moving to California with Nissan automotive. During this same time I had won a European Championship and a few North Americans.

After moving to SoCaI, I turned my energy to the A class catamaran. I have since built several A cats and have won a few North American Championships. With my recent foiling A cat and Moth sailing having a similar feel of iceboat racing, I had to get back on the ice somehow.

This past Christmas I was back in Michigan and dusted off the DN iceboat program, loaded up the rental car and drove to Minnesota to compete in the Western Regional Championship. To my surprise I won the six race series over two days with all bullets. At that point, I was hooked again and was looking for the next opportunity to sail.

The 2016 DN iceboat North Americans were scheduled for five days and fourteen races. Because the race course is frozen water, you never know what type of surface you will be racing on. Snow covered, cracks and fisherman holes are all typical of the surface. If the surface is perfect, it is a freshly frozen black ice surface with no obstacles. For this years event in Madison Wisconsin, we found thick gray colored ice that had survived strong winds and a winter thaw, leaving the surface textured with no now.

The regatta turned out to be a 10 race series with no sailing on two days do to light winds. The 10 races were completed in a good variety of conditions with winds from 4 - 32 knots. I sailed a good series and won my fourth North American DN iceboat Championships.

DN’s typically sail upwind at 35 knots and downwind over 60 knots and they have been sailing since the early 1950‘s. "

Matt Struble for
International DN Ice Yachting Assoc :
Below On board video of the 2016 North Ams plus a clip of how Matt starts a DN race.